MENA’s design scene points to a coming of age as designers return for the sixth edition of Design Days Dubai

 A visitor interacting with product and art installations at Design Days Dubai

Returning for its sixth edition in a new location at Dubai Design District (d3) with 50 exhibitors, the largest number to date, Design Days Dubai continues to attract design connoisseurs from around the world.

A record number of design studios based in the Middle East will exhibit in March. For the first time this year, regional exhibitors include Ayah Al Bitar, AYKA Design, CarpertsCC by Cecilia Setterdahl, Jafar Dajani, Michael Rice and Nader Gammas (all from UAE), Apical Reform (India), Aperçu Designs (Jordan), Marie Munier (Lebanon) and Dahr Design (Saudi Arabia).

Clockwise from left: Sky Drops by Apercu Designs; side board by Jafar Dajani; furniture by Dahr Design  

Returning exhibitors also point to a maturing design appreciation in the UAE. Some of these exhibitors are: Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima Bint Mohamed Initiative, MB&F M.A.D. Gallery and Nakkash Gallery (all from UAE), Nisreen and Nermaan Abu Dail of Naqsh Collective (Jordan), Iwan Maktabi and Vick Vanlian (both Lebanon), Coalesce (Pakistan) and Aisha AlTSowaidi (Qatar).

“Reflecting Dubai’s unique position as a global meeting point, Design Days Dubai showcases design from around the world and we keep design diversity as one of our main features this year. There is exciting and often, experimental work being produced by designers who aren’t necessarily represented by galleries. The fair offers an opportunity for solo designers and independent studios to exhibit at an international level,” said Rawan Kashkoush, Head of Programming.

The event also offers emerging designers an international platform to debut their furniture, lightings and installations. In previous years, exhibitors have been talent-spotted. Aljoud Lootah had two items  from her debut collection acquired for the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne; in 2016, two of Amar Kalo’s pieces were acquired by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.

For design enthusiasts, it is an annual event to meet designers from all over the world and acquire collectible design not seen anywhere else.

For the first time, vintage design will be presented, by specialists in mid-century modern, MCML Studio from UAE.

“Our objective is to become a must in the GCC region for any 1950s to 1970s design amateurs and collectors. All our pieces have been carefully selected, and unique to the post-war period. Design Days Dubai is the right event to showcase these antique pieces,” said founder, Patrick Rochette.

Alongside a palette of international names, a special line-up of programmes, projects, talks, workshops and guided tours will also be made available in March.

Design Days Dubai runs from March 14 – 17 at d3.